The Societal Infrastructures and Development Project (SID)
All of the core research initiatives of the Cline Center fall under the auspices of its Societal Infrastructures and
Development Project (SID).
The Societal Infrastructures and Development Project (SID) examines one of the most sobering problems of contemporary life: How can we enhance the well-being of people throughout the world? Despite the high standard of living currently enjoyed by many, billions of others live in abject poverty. Those who enjoy an adequate standard of living must struggle with the challenges involved in sustaining their lifestyles in a highly competitive, globalized setting. Also, hundreds of millions live in nations that systematically deny them basic human rights. Many more live in nations whose practices jeopardize the quality of air, water and soil that are needed to sustain future generations. The lives of millions of others are routinely destabilized by civil strife, terrorist activities and/or international conflict.
Addressing the challenges of global development in a sustainable manner is a daunting challenge requiring informed efforts by a range of actors. The role of research universities is defined by their comparative advantage as producers of knowledge. They can provide a knowledge base that will assist practitioners by providing them with analytic tools and insights that will be useful in directing and evaluating their efforts.
Because of the importance of global development, and cognizant of the contributions that universities can play in this area, the Cline Center initiated the SID project in 2004. SID was conceived as a long-term, institutionalized program of research and public engagement that focuses on 175 countries in the post WW II era. It is the Center's signature initiative, one that has benefited from an investment of over $3M between 2004 and 2010. Its development has been a product of a score of faculty from a variety of disciplines and over 300 students.
A number of individual thematic projects fall under the larger SID project, addressing topics such as institutional matters (national elections and the partisan composition of legislatures, legal infrastructures, media structures (distribution and ownership of media outlets), free trade, central bank independence), contextual factors (educational attainment, natural resource production, agricultural production) and welfare measures (environmental quality).
Learn more about the overarching vision and driving forces behind the Societal Infrastructures and Development Project.
Several white papers are available in regards to the SID project.